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The 2nd Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers' Meeting Convenes

On December 23, 2016, the 2nd Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhon of Cambodia, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai of Thailand, Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith of Laos, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs U Kyaw Tin of Myanmar, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh of Vietnam attended the meeting. Under the theme of “Shared River, Shared Future”, all parties reviewed the implementation of outcomes of the 1st LMC Leaders’ Meeting held in China this March, and planned the next-stage development of LMC.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhon of Cambodia co-chaired the meeting. Wang Yi stated that since the 1st LMC Leaders’ Meeting, the LMC mechanism has been continuously strengthened with the establishment of joint working groups in various priority areas under orderly progress. Forty-five early-harvest projects have been effectively implemented in succession, and practical cooperation is being gradually carried out in all sectors. The LMC is in action, and ready to demonstrate its speed and efficiency to the world.

Wang Yi pointed out that the LMC is beneficial to giving play to the six countries’ advantages of geographical proximity, amicable relations, and economic complementarity, stimulating the internal development potential of all countries, injecting new vigor into China-ASEAN cooperation and boosting the construction of the ASEAN community and regional integration process. The LMC also helps to yield results from the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” initiative as soon as possible and contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is believed that the LMC will be welcomed and supported by more countries, especially those in the region.

Wang Yi stated that at the crucial stage of incubation and development of the LMC, the six countries should make greater efforts to nurture a Lancang-Mekong culture featuring equal treatment, sincerity, mutual assistance, and family-like closeness, establish the “LMC Corridor” under the principles of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and march towards the goal of building a Lancang-Mekong community of shared destiny. With regards to cooperation in the next stage, Wang Yi suggested that the six countries should accelerate the establishment of joint working groups in priority areas, set up LMC secretariats or coordination organizations as soon as possible, carry out the first batch of early-harvest projects at all fronts, promote the second batch of cooperation initiatives, formulate an LMC five-year action plan, and make sound use of the LMC Special Fund and relevant loans established by China.

Attending Foreign Ministers highly agreed with Wang Yi’s remarks. Co-chair of the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhon of Cambodia stated that the establishment and development of the LMC meet the needs of each regional country for development. All parties appreciate China’s attention and dedication to the LMC and expect China to continue to play a leading and critical role in the process. Speaking highly of the remarkable progress made by the LMC in less than a year, all Foreign Ministers held that the speed and outcomes of the LMC have exceeded those of other sub-regional cooperation mechanisms carried out for years. They also emphasized that all parties should attach importance to the LMC, and they stand ready to make joint efforts to usher the LMC into a stage of comprehensive implementation so as to play an important role in safeguarding regional peace and stability as well as boosting regional development and prosperity. All ministers hoped that the LMC can dovetail with China’s “Belt and Road” initiative and complement and promote other sub-regional cooperation mechanisms so as to make unique contributions to improving people’s welfare in the region.

The meeting reviewed and approved three important outcome documents, namely, the Joint Press Communiqué of the Second Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting ,the Progress Report on the Implementation of Outcomes of the 1st Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting, and the General Principles for the Establishment of Joint Working Groups on the LMC Priority Areas.

After the meeting, Wang Yi and Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhon of Cambodia jointly met the press.

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